Hospitality

GST to the aid of 5-star hotel weddings

DELHI: At India’s five-star hotels, the goods and services tax (GST) has proven to be more than auspicious for the upcoming wedding season. Sure, the 28% GST on luxury hotel rooms has hurt but the flattening of multiple taxes promises to cheer up the banqueting end of the business.

“We are all sold out this (wedding) season. And the GST rates have helped,” said Tarun Thakral, chief operating officer of Delhi’s Le Meridien, reports The Economic Times.

Previously, the multiple taxes — which could include a mandap levy — that hosts had to cough up to hold weddings in five-star hotels like the Meridien could cumulatively go up to 30-35%, Thakral said. But now the services, all clubbed under banqueting, are taxed at 18%. India’s biggest luxury hotel chains say wedding bookings have surged across the country, thanks to this.

“Bookings are very encouraging. We have witnessed an 18-20% growth from this segment. The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, Taj Palace in Delhi, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad remain hot favorites for destination weddings,” said Chinmai Sharma, chief revenue officer of Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris. “Among our new hotels, Taj Swarna in Amritsar is becoming a very popular venue for wedding celebrations.”

The Tata-owned Taj group launched the Taj Wedding Studio concept this week aimed at providing curated experiences through collaborations with top names in associated fields such as designers.

The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts said wedding bookings have picked up in metro destinations over the past year while Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is witnessing an incremental rise in such reservations for its Mumbai and Goa properties.

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